Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: athena, fat bidin, freakonomics, gender, jasmine abu bakar, journalism, media, men, new media, stephen dubner, steven levitt, The Malaysian Insider, women, zan azlee
MARCH 1 — I’ve always been a proponent of gender equality. I believe that anything a man does in the world, a woman can do just as well or even better.
And that is why I never hold the door open for my wife whenever we go anywhere. Neither do I carry the groceries when we go shopping. She is woman, hear her roar!
Then my daughter Athena Azlee was born and my feminism spirit soared through the sky. I banned all princess paraphernalia and media content in the house, and Barbie was sent to melt in hell. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, press, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro awani, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, hindu, india, indian, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, multiculturalism, muslim, new media, news, pluralism, religion, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, taliban, umno, vishwaroopam, zan azlee
KUALA LUMPUR: Wasatiyyah – an ‘Islamic’ term that I have heard over and over again. I’ve heard it in Malaysia. I’ve heard it in the Middle-East. I’ve heard it in the West. I’ve heard it, well, everywhere.
It’s a simple term with a simple definition. It basically just means moderation. Moderation in everything that we do in life so that there is a balance. Islam condones it.
So here I shall reveal my life mission of bringing down and stopping Ridhuan Tee Abdullah from ever writing anything hate-filled against people of different faiths other than his.
What religion is he? He is a Muslim and practices the Islamic faith, the same faith that I was born into and have decided upon reaching adulthood to stick with.
There have been numerous articles that he has written which has disgusted me on so many levels that I even wonder why he keeps getting published. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, hindu, india, indian, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, multiculturalism, muslim, new media, news, pluralism, religion, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, taliban, The Malaysian Insider, umno, vishwaroopam, zan azlee
FEB 22 — I have spent many years of my professional career trying to promote and encourage a multicultural and multireligious Malaysia. I have had to face personal sacrifice, peril and risk to bring my fight to the fore. Well, not really lah. But I do feel very passionate about it.
A career which started out really as a personal interest has become much more as I feel that I now have a responsibility to my country and countrymen. I want to play as much a role as I can in shaping Malaysia to be the coolest country on the planet. A country perfect for my daughter Athena Azlee to grow up in.
I normally don’t get angry or mad in my writings or even in my documentaries. I rant, and mostly whine, but I never fill my content with anger and hatred. So imagine my disgust when I read what Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (yes, my favourite columnist!) wrote in his column in Sinar Harian on February 18.
Commenting on the lifting of the ban of the Indian film “Vishwaroopam”, Tee crafted out 786 words of disrespect towards the Malaysian Indian and Hindu community. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, I'M MUSLIM TOO! Heading to the border, internet, journalism, new media, Operation Nasi Kerabu, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro awani, azrul azwar, bank islam, bank islam malaysia, baraisan nasional, BN, censorship, documentary, fat bidin, freedom of speech, islam, journalism, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, pakatan rakyat, umno, zan azlee
The last I checked, the Malaysian Constitution stated under Article 10, that every citizen is guaranteed the right to freedom of speech. And the last I checked, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin, chief economist of Bank Islam Malaysia, was not given his right to freedom of speech.
It has been slightly over a month now that Azrul Azwar has been suspended by the bank for voicing his views that Pakatan Rakyat would win the elections with a simple majority. In fact, his statements were more than just his views. It was actually the results of an extensive academic research paper he had worked on and was based on facts and analysis
Of course, the bank maintains that he was suspended pending investigations that he had leaked confidential documents to a third party. Yes, of course!
What kind of organisation, and more so, what kind of society has Malaysia become to actually stifle opinions and discussion? This upsets me because it just shows the regression of the civilisation that I am a part of. What happened to the knowledge-based society that we were striving for? [Click to read the full article at ENGLISH.ASTROAWANI.COM]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, barisan nasional, BN, election, fat bidin, gangnam, general elections, journalism, mahathir, malay, malaysia, news, pakatan, pakatan rakyat, PR, psy, sharifah zohra jabeen, teng chang yeow, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
FEB 15- Sometimes, people get their feet stuck deep in their mouths that it is impossible to pull it back out. Sad for them, but good for me, since I get something to write about. The first case I would like to discuss is one that I’m sure everyone reading this column would be very familiar with – Sharifah Zohra Jabeen.
Here is a lady who is obviously not very smart trying to make it look and sound like she’s smart. Look what happened now. She’s gone into hiding out of embarrassment. And she still hasn’t responded to my challenge in a previous article to debate her on a topic of her choice. I guess she’s scared that she’ll get her other foot stuck in her mouth too.
The second case is something that happened very recently, and that is, the response that Penang state BN chief Teng Chang Yeow gave regarding K-pop artist Psy… And then there is something former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday which also caught my attention. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, bias, bias reporting, fat bidin, journalism, malaysia, media, new media, news, objectivity, solo journalism, subjectivity, zan azlee
What level of sin is it if a media organisation to be biased? Is it ‘makruh’, ‘dosa kecil’, or out right ‘haram’? For the majority in Malaysia, its actually no problem at all. And if you ask me, I would have to agree with the majority. Surprise surprise! You heard me, the professional journalist, right. Biasness in the media is no problem at all.
In this day and age, people in society receive an overload of information from all kinds of sources. There’s TV, radio, print, Internet, mobile phone, iPad, Galaxy, Nexus, the kitchen sink, etc.
You’ve got most of the mainstream media that are owned by the ruling party spewing their propaganda. And you’ve got blogs, tweets and news portals that spew out the opposition’s propaganda. Tons of information is all over the traditional and new media, and biased ones at that. This is pretty obvious so don’t try to even attempt to deny it. [Click to read the full article at ASTROAWANI.COM]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, fat bidin, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, race, racist, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
FEB 8 — “It was never like this back in my day.”
“We mixed with everyone when I was a child.”
“Race was never an issue. We were all Malaysians decades ago.”
Shut up! I’m sick and tired of listening to the older generation going on about how race relations in Malaysia was so much better 30 years ago. I’m not denying it. I’m sure it is true. Everyone from that generation says so and they all seem to agree with one another. Things have deteriorated, no doubt. But, when I think about it… has it really?
People go on and on about how things are so polarised, that there is no interaction between the different races and how each race is so insecure that they look at each other in fear. But I would like to be a little micro and anecdotal here and see if it is possible to extrapolate it to tell the macro story of race relations in the country. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, awani, catholic, christian, fat bidin, interview, islam, journalism, keningau, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, sabah, zan azlee
If you’ve been living in a cave, let me enlighten you of the fact that Astro AWANI, Malaysia’s first 24-hour news channel now has a website! Booyah! And I have a new column on the site every Wednesdays (My The Malaysian Insider column still continues every Friday)! So head on over and be my fanboy (or fangirl)!
KUALA LUMPUR: I really don’t want to get dragged into the ‘Allah’ name game again. But sometimes (all the time, actually!), I am prone to getting irritated easily and it makes me do things I regret!
So here goes my rant.
I’ve written about this issue several times and even shot a documentary about it before, and I thought that was it for me and my role in nation building. But it looks like my calling has come again.
I’m not a fan of Ibrahim Ali, and I dare bet my right pinky finger and my left pinky toe that neither are many other sane, rational and normal people in Malaysia.
That’s why when he announced that he wanted to burn Bibles, I just kept silent and didn’t comment at all. That guy just isn’t worth a single drop of my saliva.
But then, when I think of Malaysia and all my fellow countrymen, I have to do something or I wouldn’t be deserving of that flat piece of plastic in my wallet called a MyKad. [Click to read the full article at ASTROAWANI.COM]
Filed under: broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: fat bidin, gaza, harry fear, independent journalism, interview, islam, israel, journalism, media, new media, palestine, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
FEB 1 — I recently interviewed a young Brit by the name of Harry Fear for “Vantage Point”, a current affairs talk show on Astro Awani. Before interviewing him, I did a little bit of research and found out he is an independent journalist, human rights activist, writer and scholar.
The reason he was being interviewed is that he had spent 12 weeks in Gaza, Palestine, in November last year, during and after the Israeli Operation Pillar of Cloud siege.
When Fear arrived at the studio and I finally got to meet him, we chatted a little before the show. I asked him how he would like me to refer to him. Independent journalist, human rights activist, writer and scholar?
He laughed and said that was a mouthful and sounded so presumptuous. He said he would much rather be referred to as a campaigning documentary film-maker. And as someone who has always believed that objective journalism is bull crap and that subjectivity is fine, as long as it’s honest, I took to that definition straight away. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: fat bidin, ipad, journalism, magazine, media, new media, news, newsweek, the daily beast, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
JAN 25 — I’ve been looking high and low for the last printed edition of Newsweek since the end of December 2012 all around the Klang Valley, but have been unlucky. I had basically given up, when lo and behold, I see stacks of it two days ago at a newsstand in Kota Kinabalu where I had been shooting a documentary for the past week.
So I bought a couple of copies (who knows, it might become a valuable collector’s item in a couple of years) and sat myself down at a coffee shop to go through it.
Here’s a little bit of backgrounder for those who are not familiar. Newsweek is a news and current affairs magazine that has been around for 79 years, and is a bitter rival of Time. Due to the pressures of technological and market evolution, they have made the decision to cease their print edition and concentrate only on their digital version.
This isn’t much of a surprise considering that hundreds of newspapers and magazines have been forced to stop operations because of the dwindling circulation and sales in the Internet age. Newsweek itself had an international circulation of four million copies in 2003. By 2010, this number dropped to 1.5 million. That is definitely a huge drop.
But Newsweek is an institution. Back in the day, they had their own building which was so prominent in the New York City skyline. They were (still is!) a respected journalistic organisation. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Arab Spring, broadcast, directing, documentary, film, internet, journalism, new media, video blog | Tags: 501 awani, arab spring, astro, astro awani, conflict, documentary, egypt, fat bidin, ikhwan, in focus, journalism, malaysia, media, middle east, morsi, muslim brotherhood, new media, news, solo journalism, tahrir square, tunisia, video journalism, war, web video, zan azlee
If you missed the first episode of IN FOCUS, which was on Astro AWANI 501, then you’re in luck! You get to watch it on NJOI AWANI’s YouTube page over and over and over and over and over again! The first episode sees me checking out how the street protest industry works in Egypt in Tunisia!
Filed under: internet, journalism, lecture, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, bavani, fat bidin, journalism, ks bavani, listen, malay, malaysia, news, sharifah zohra jabeen, SW1M, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
18 JAN – You were way out of your depth. It was obviously clear. And that was the reason why you had to pull the microphone away from KS Bavani when she was speaking. But you definitely had no realisation of this, I’m sure. You thought you were all that in your sophisticated looking pant suit and fancy title of President of Suara Wanita. Trying to go for a SW1M? Try not to sink instead!
You were at a university, University Utara Malaysia, a learning institution where people go to (where most of them are actually legal adults) to obtain an education. You were a part of a panel forum. A panel forum, which I’m very sure, had an objective to bring forth discourse and intellectual discussion, and to share that with the students.
The forum, which was titled ‘Seiringkah Mahasiswa dan Politik’, had given the panelists a chance to speak, and also had a session that was opened to the floor, a chance for the students to speak. If the panelists were allowed to share their thoughts and opinions, then by all means, the members of the floor should be given that chance too. It is a forum anyway. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, concert, fat bidin, indonesia, jakarta, journalism, malay, malaysia, new media, The Malaysian Insider, utusan, weezer, zainuddin maidin, zan azlee
JAN 11 ― They say that if you want to know the maturity and development of a society, you look at how it treats its least privileged. But I think there’s a better analogy than that. I say, if you want to know the maturity of a society, look at how its concert organisers treat ticket buyers.
I recently went to Jakarta, the macet-prone capital of Indonesia, to watch one of my favourite rock bands of all time, Weezer, in concert.The last time I saw them perform was 11 years ago in Birmingham, England. And I have to say, this time around, it may just be the best concert I have ever been to.
But let’s put that story aside; it isn’t what I really want to talk about here. What I do want to talk about is the experience I had at the hands of the Indonesian concert organisers. It isn’t a secret that many Malaysians tend to look at Indonesians as a second class or lesser Malay society compared to themselves.
Don’t believe me? Just go back a few weeks and flick through Utusan Malaysia and read an article written by a certain former information minister, and see. However, I would beg to differ. My recent trip to the Nusantara has made me realise that my Malay blood isn’t any superior just because I have a blue Malaysian identity card. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: broadcast, directing, documentary, film, internet, journalism, new media, video blog, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, 501 awani, astro, awani, ceritalah, documentary, fat bidin, interview, journalism, karim raslan, malay, malaysia, media, new media, video journalism, web video, zan azlee
Ceritalah Malaysia is the TV version of Karim Raslan’s long running newspaper column and book series where he travels the country speaking to ordinary Malaysians to get a sense of the true Malaysia. I used to read Karim’s writings more than ten years ago when I first started writing myself (funnily.. I haven’t read his stuff in quite a while now! muahaha!). But now we’re working together… and it’s pretty cool!
Produced by Zan Azlee and Karim Raslan for Astro AWANI (501). Every Monday nights, starting tonight, at 9:30pm (with repeats throughout the week).
Filed under: broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: broadcast, fat bidin, journalism, malaysia, media, new media, news, solo journalism, television, The Malaysian Insider, video journalism, zan azlee
JAN 4 — Yes, it sucks big time and those involved in it have put themselves too high on a pedestal to realise this. Newspapers globally are already in a crisis (except for The Star, whose circulation is mysteriously increasing!). Television news seems to have the potential of heading the same way too and is slowly losing viewers, if it does not heed my all-important advice.
I wonder if anyone agrees with me that watching news on television has really been uninspiring these last few years? I don’t think I have to wonder. To be honest, I’ve actually stopped watching television news altogether. I get my news fix almost solely from online sources now and I know so many people who do the same.
I feel very strongly that television news should just stop trying to compete in breaking news. Just outright cease and desist. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Arab Spring, broadcast, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, video blog | Tags: 501 awani, arab spring, astro, astro awani, conflict, documentary, egypt, fat bidin, ikhwan, in focus, journalism, malaysia, media, middle east, morsi, muslim brotherhood, new media, news, solo journalism, tahrir square, tunisia, video journalism, war, web video, zan azlee
Come the new year of 2013… I am producing and hosting a new documentary series called IN FOCUS every Tuesday nights at 8:30pm on Astro AWANI (501). It covers current and social affairs, local and international. Expect all the awesomeness, machoness and coolness of Zan Azlee… and others too, of course!
The first three episodes is all about the Arab Spring after two years have gone by. I go to Egypt and Tunisia (and cancelled Syria… not macho enough lah!). So don’t forget to watch the premiere first episode of IN FOCUS this Tuesday (1st January 2013), 8:30pm, on Astro AWANI (501)!
Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab Spring, broadcast, directing, documentary, DVD, film, GUIDE TO AFGHANISTAN: The Adventures of a KL-ite, I'm Muslim Too!, internet, journalism, lomokino, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, afghanistan, askar, bamiyan, bersih, city, conflict, documentary, fat bidin, film, insurgency, islam, journalism, kabul, kuala lumpur, lim chee wee, malay, malaysia, media, middle east, military, muslim, new media, ridhuan tee, solo journalism, taliban, terrorism, The Malaysian Insider, video journalism, war, zan azlee
DEC 28 ― The year is coming to an end and it is time to look back and reflect upon the momentous events of the passing year. I thought it would be a good idea to look back at 2012’s top ten searches on Google… and that led to my website, Fatbidin.com!
10. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah
Number ten could be one that has given me the most pleasure this year. I disagree with everything this academician, TV host and writer ― whose real name is Tee Chuan Seng ― says. We had a brief heated exchange in our respective columns (his is in Sinar Harian), from which I emerged victorious.
Being the gloriously brave war journalist and adrenaline junkie that I am, I went to Afghanistan to shoot a documentary. After a decade of war and after the Taliban, it’s quite a surprise that the country is still getting media coverage.
8. Bersih 3.0
This has to be one of the lowest points of the year. I witnessed things that I don’t ever want to witness in Malaysia again. The police were brutally attacking demonstrators and even journalists like a bunch of street thugs ― after they removed their nametags, of course. But the spirit of Malaysians that gathered, now that was a high point.
Filed under: Arab Spring, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, al aqsa, allah, baptist, christian, damascus, daud, david, dome of rock, egypt, fat bidin, holy, isa, islam, israel, jerusalem, jesus, jew, john, jordan, journalism, judaism, malay, malaysia, moses, muhammad, musa, muslim, new media, syria, The Malaysian Insider, umayyad, yahya, zan azlee
DEC 21 — I’m very religious in my own opinion. However, there are many people — some I know and even those I don’t — who might not agree. But these are the same people who send me anonymous e-mails praying that my daughter grows up practising beastiality.
I’m sure they are all very religious and have paid their downpayment for a nice condo in heaven for after the rapture. But that’s not what I want to write about today. No. What I want to write about is much more important.
I would like to congratulate my Malaysian Christian brothers and sisters over our government’s decision to relax the rules and regulations to visit the holy land in Israel. It’s a good move by the government as it shows that it is sensitive to the needs of the people and is willing to overlook certain political issues.
But this makes me slightly bitter. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for the new regulations for Christians to be revoked. I am sincerely happy for them. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab Spring, book, broadcast, directing, documentary, film, GUIDE TO AFGHANISTAN: The Adventures of a KL-ite, internet, journalism, new media, photo essay, press | Tags: 360 celcius, afghanistan, conflict, cover, documentary, fat bidin, interview, journalism, magazine, media, new media, solo journalism, The Malaysian Insider, war, zan azlee
I’m on the cover of the Dec-Jan 2013 issue of 360 Celcius magazine! You’ve never heard of the magazine, you say? Well, neither have I, until recently! Hahaha! This is like the upteenth time I’ve been on the cover of a magazine/newspaper over the years. I wonder what is with the obsession they have with good-looking guys like me! Muahaha! (Click on the images above to read the article)
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: age, aging, cat stevens, creedence clearwater revival, fat bidin, fatherhood, journalism, media, music, new media, parenting, steve miller, The Malaysian Insider, weezer, youth, zan azlee
DEC 14 — I’m lucky to have youthful looks that do not reflect my actual age. I dare say this because many people have guessed my age as being a decade younger than my actual 34 years. But sometimes, I think people think that I’m younger than my age because of my demeanour and my child-like, hyperactive personality.
Heck, I’ve even had my university students diagnose me as having Peter Pan Syndrome! Talk about respecting your elders. I always felt it was cool to be youngish and that my daughter would be known among her friends as the one with the cool and hip dad.
But recently, I have been feeling like I’ve been ageing. And its no thanks to the fact that I have slowly realised that my musical preference has slowly become obsolete. Music has been a passion for me ever since I can remember. I would seek out the latest and the most different kinds to listen to.
One of the first few albums I had were Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and the “La Bamba” soundtrack (which were the latest hot cassettes at that time). [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]